The tin shed served the Eglinton Tennis Club well for many years, but Saturday saw the ushering in of a new era for one of the sport's proud homes in the region.
Club members and distinguished guests congregated at the club on Saturday for the grand opening of a $159,882 clubhouse, which is set to play a central role in helping grow the appeal of tennis in Eglinton and across the region.
Deputy Premier and Bathurst MP Paul Toole and Bathurst mayor Robert Taylor were both present for the grand opening, which followed the opening of the redeveloped Bathurst Tennis Centre clubhouse in 2019.
Eglinton Tennis Club head coach Rod Schumacher said the new clubhouse will provided expanded facilities for club members and visitors.
"The big tin shed served our purposes for many years, but as the club grew and attracted more members; seniors and juniors; it was clear we needed a bigger clubhouse to accommodate everyone," Mr Schumacher said.
"With the new clubhouse, we now have a comfortable place for social events, as well as more shelter, a small kitchenette and a pro shop, which also serves as a separate control room that's required to host higher level tournaments."
Mr Schumacher said the club is utilised regularly for coaching and social competitions, attracting players of all ages.
"In recent times, we've been running Universal Tennis Rating [UTR] tournaments for club players, which we hope to expand to other participants across the Central West," he said.
"There's a lot of players, seniors and juniors, who play in regular regional tournaments, so there's plenty of great players representing our club outside weekly competitions."
Mr Schumacher said the club's combined efforts to grow the appeal of tennis in Eglinton and further afield has helped local tennis grow from strength to strength.
"It's been a two-decade effort to transform the club from two dirt courts into six courts [four with lighting], four mini courts, a hitting wall and now, a state-of-the-art clubhouse. It wouldn't be possible without the club's collaborative efforts," he said.
"With Eglinton continuing to grow, and both our club and Bathurst's now sporting upgraded clubhouse facilities, the region has the facilities to match its status as a premier tennis hub in the Central West."
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